- The Steelers are -5 against the Patriots.
- Both teams suffered outright losses in Week 13.
- Steelers clinging onto one of the final AFC playoff spots.
Ahead of Week 14’s Thursday Night Football contest, I’m here to provide a quartet of Steelers vs. Patriots predictions.
Pittsburgh is coming off a disappointing 24-10 home loss to the Cardinals. Of bigger concern is they lost starting quarterback Kenny Pickett in the process and will start Mitchell Trubisky on Thursday.
As for New England, they’re 2-10 and find themselves dead last in the AFC East. New England hasn’t won a game outright since Week 7.
Here’s a look at the NFL betting lines for Thursday’s game, as well as my bets for the contest.
Steelers vs. Patriots Betting Odds
- Pittsburgh Steelers Moneyline: -250
- New England Patriots Moneyline: +200
- Game Spread: Pittsburgh Steelers -5
- Game Total: 30 Points
Steelers vs. Patriots Predictions
New England Patriots Spread (+5) at Pittsburgh Steelers
Maybe this line makes sense if Kenny Pickett was starting, but the Steelers will send out Mitch Trubisky on Thursday.
That should allow New England’s defense to excel for another game. Despite holding three straight opponents under 10 points, they’re 0-3 straight up in those games.
Plus, Pittsburgh’s run defense played horribly against the Cardinals.
The Patriots don’t do much well offensively, but they’re 17th in rush offense DVOA and 12th in adjusted line yards per attempt, per ftnfantasy.com.
If New England can run the ball behind Ezekiel Elliott, they should stay competitive.
The Patriots also match a few historically profitable betting systems.
This season, underdogs are 40-28-2 ATS when the total closes below 42. Since 2018-19, such underdogs are 57.7% ATS.
Additionally, in two instances last season when an underdog was listed at +3.5 or higher in a game with a total under 35 points, they finished 2-0 ATS.
Add in Mike Tomlin is 43.8% ATS as a favorite of -3.5 or higher, and I’ll take the Patriots on Thursday night.
Steelers-Patriots Total Under 30 Points (-110)
This number has come down from 32 points at opening, yet I still don’t think it’s low enough.
I’m going to treat the Steelers’ defensive performance against the Cardinals as an outlier.
On short rest, they should handle a Patriots offense two spots below Arizona in offensive DVOA, per ftnfantasy.com.
That said, I don’t know how the Steelers offense manages to create meaningful scoring opportunities against the Patriots.
New England ranks 11th in defensive DVOA and has surrendered only 8.7 points per game in their last three contests.
Plus, they’re third in rush defense DVOA and first in yards per attempt.
That puts them in an advantageous position against a Steelers team that desperately wants to run the ball.
In order for this over to hit, one team probably needs to get 21 points. Do you really trust one of these offenses to accomplish that feat?
Mitchell Trubisky Under 0.5 Passing Touchdowns (+180)
Largely a price play here for me, as I’m surprised by oddsmakers’ confidence in Trubisky.
The game already features a low total, suggesting six-point scores may come at a premium. Plus, the Steelers already prefer to run the ball when they reach the red zone.
Pittsburgh has punched in seven of their 11 touchdowns from inside the 20-yard line this season via the run.
Further, of their last five scores, the Steelers have seen four come via the ground, including three of four from inside the 20-yard line.
Trubisky did manage a touchdown pass against the Cardinals on Sunday, but game state likely played a role in that success.
Given the Patriots have surrendered only two total touchdowns in their last three games – one each on the ground and through the air – I don’t think this number should be this high.
Take the under on Trubisky.
Jaylen Warren Under 42.5 Rushing Yards (-115)
Warren has enjoyed a strong run of form recently, but the Patriots rushing defense is a very difficult matchup.
New England has surrendered under 80 rushing yards in four of their last five games and sit third in PFF’s run defense grades.
They’re simultaneously first in running back yards per attempt and third in open field yards allowed, per ftnfantasy.com.
The Steelers are a strong run team in their own right – second in rushing yards per attempt – but Warren has proved inconsistent against strong teams.
Warren is averaging 59.2 yards per game in five contests against teams fifth or better in rush defense DVOA.
However, he’s failed to clear this number in a majority of those contests.
On short rest, Warren should regress after a 59-yard performance against a weak Cardinals run defense.
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